"The objective, of course, is to remove this (the tanker) as soon as possible. But realistically, and by the amount of cargo that there is, we will need a couple of days to unload most of it - (that is if) the waves and sea favour (our work)."
An oil spill threatening the fragile Galapagos Islands is continuing to spread, according to authorities.
The Emergency Operations Committee in Galapagos confirmed in a news release on Friday the presence of contaminating material - a mixture of diesel and hydraulic oil - near the coast of San Cristobal Island after the tanker 'Floreana' became stranded on Wednesday.
They said emergency personnel had intensified their efforts to unload the cargo the ship was carrying.
"The objective, of course, is to remove this (the tanker) as soon as possible. But realistically, and by the amount of cargo that there is, we will need a couple of days to unload most of it," said Galapagos Islands Governor Jorge Torres.
Authorities said they were making constant revisions of the organic cargo unloaded from the ship to determine its status and take appropriate sanitary measures.
They said that about 70 metres (229 feet) of absorbent material that collects spilled fuel was taken to a management agency for disposal.
Water samples were also taken and are being tested in the capital Quito.
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